The Radboud UMC chose a virtue approach of science at work. Scientific Integrity is considered a key virtue in the practice of scientific thinking and behaviour. The virtue consist of attitude, skills and knowledge and experience and needs to be acquired in scientific learning and training. The way in which the virtue is put into practice, stands open for discussion and critical debate. Norms, codes of conduct and rules are put into a situational context (cases).
The program for PhD-students in 2nd or early 3rd year of their PhD-study, includes lectures, the interactive movie The Lab, and a so called ‘World café’. In the World café, the PhD-students ask questions to PI’s (all PI’s have to participate in a World café). In preparation the PhD-students are trained in how to ask/formulate such questions. The second day of the program focusses on case presentations by the students, evaluated in the light of the scientific integrity virtue.
Both the PhD-students and the PI’s value the World cafés.
The Wageningen University offers a 2-hour workshop on Research Integrity. In preparation, participants read an article, which is discussed during the workshop. In the second part of the workshop, real-life cases are discussed in small groups. In this discussion, every participant is assigned a role (e.g. PhD candidate, supervisor, postdoc, sponsor) to represent and to use the arguments that person would be using.
Participants especially value the real-life cases. Also the social dimension of integrity is valued.
Gab’s personal observation is that cultural differences have to be addressed (plagiarism, hierarchy and Dutch bluntness). Furthermore, he stopped using the interactive video ‘The Lab’, because authorship is not an integrity issue in this video. Also, we would not always recommend to go to the RI officer directly.
Based on these experiences, Gab brings forward some questions to discuss. What is the best moment to take the workshop? Probably not first year PhD-student. Some universities also address RI in Master and even Bachelor programs (prior to the internships).
Furthermore, Wageningen University considers to develop advanced workshops for postdocs.
TU Eindhoven organises a compulsory training for PhD-students since 2007, and also for PDEng since 2009. It’s a 3.5 hour program, taught by all staff members of the Philosophy & Ethics group. The course aims for participants to develop a personal ‘integrity compass’ with shared framework, and to foster later discussion/open climate. The program uses known cases and own cases. Participants evaluate mini-cases in small groups. They decide on severity as well, which one is the worst one? These evaluations are then compared plenary.
Evaluation of the course is largely positive. Students also want practical information, including communication skills, e.g. how to start a conversation on a dilemma?
Wybo also brings forward the question of the best timing (1st year may be too soon), and the idea to have a follow-up (3rd year) and the need to extend to PostDocs and new staff to foster an open climate. But how to organise that, and how to prevent (the perception of) institutionalised mistrust?
This presentation was not part of this program, but was presented during the workshop by Epigeum in the morning. However, it is in line with these presentations and therefore relevant to include as well.
The VUmc started last year with an obligatory course of 2EC (56 hours) for all PhD-students. The VUmc chose to implement blended learning: participants first take the Epigeum online course, followed by 1.5 day of face-to-face training (with a couple of weeks in between). During both days, the PhD-students participate in Moral Case Deliberations in groups of max. 10 people. A Moral Case Deliberation is a group inquiry, not aimed at finding a solution but at better understanding the moral dilemma. A case presenter (participant of the group) explains his/her own case and dilemma. The group explores values and norms which are at stake, for different perspectives. Each participant makes his/her own consideration: which option to choose, and for what reason (value/norm), what is at stake if I do that and how can I limit that damage? The group reflects on differences/consensus. Participants value the activating and interactive character of the face-to-face sessions and the portfolio discussion with their supervisor(s). However, not many supervisors do the online course as well (they are invited).
Subsession 1 – Composing a reference curriculum for RI education
Make it specific for each discipline
Address knowledge, skills and attitude
Include skills to talk about sensitive topics
Address and deal with hierarchy issues
Involve seniors/role models with cases
Limit to one meeting (repetition required)
Subsession 2 – Designing a template for casuistry
Main values and underlying mechanisms
Indicate stakeholders clearly
Keep it neutral: always grey areas
Make a difference between hard cases and sloppy science
Waive emotions (people who are involved, have these emotions, and emotions can lead actions)
Subsession 3 – RI education for all layers in academia
Include senior members, high up in the hierarchy, e.g. via the PhD-students (juniors discussion with their seniors
Top level staff must endorse these activities openly and consistently in word and behaviour
Top down obligations to use one’s best efforts, with freedom for smaller units to develop best practices, while striving to design a central system.
Include integrity in annual assessments
Rebalance the incentive system
Label it as ‘integrity’ ‘(use titles like ‘professionalism & morel dilemma’s’ instead)
Let seniors evade RI education
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